Posted on November 10, 2011

Brussels in a high-stakes competition for the 2017 world championships, rival bidders London and Doha said on Wednesday that they are opposed to hosting the 2019 event as a part of a possible IAAF deal to satisfy both cities.

Ahead of Friday’s vote for the sport’s showcase event, the executive director of the Qatari bid, Abdalla al Zaini, said he was “not considering any other date” than 2017. Frankly, no. We are going for 2017,” he said over the telephone.

London bid chairman Ed Warner said the financial commitments from public authorities could not be switched and “we are in no position” to accept the 2019 championships. “There is just no way, even if we were asked on the spot on Friday, that we could say ‘yes,’” Warner said in a teleconference with reporters.

The decision is set to be made in a vote of the 27-member Council of the International Association of Athletics Federations in Monaco. Because both cities are strong candidates, the IAAF has been weighing a deal to also award the 2019 championships, although many council members raised objections, officials said.

Much like last year’s decision on the 2018 and 2022 football World Cups, this contest is turning into a tight battle and, again, Qatar is in the thick of it. After Qatar stunned everyone by winning the 2022 World Cup with its promise of air-conditioned stadiums, no one underestimates the energy-rich Arab nation.

Securing the 2017 championships would bring Qatar within grasp of an extraordinary trifecta of global sporting events. Doha is also bidding for the 2020 Olympics to go with the World Cup two years later. As far as the cooling technology for the 2022 World Cup is concerned, Zaini said Qatar would stick to their solar-powered cooling system that is planned for the 40,000- seat Al Khalifa Stadium. It is part of a $400 million renovation that should be finished a year ahead of the competition.

“We trust this system,” he said. “The technology will do nothing but improve over time.” Doha would hold the championships in September to avoid the worst of the summer heat.

Zaini said he expected temperatures at the stadium to hover around 26C (79F) and could go as low as 20C (68F) during a time when outside desert temperatures can soar in the 40s C (100s F). “We are ready to set new standards for the world championships,” he said.

If Doha could use the championships to boost its bid for the 2020 Games, London also has its reasons. The London championships would be held in the Olympic Stadium built for the 2012 Games. IAAF President Lamine Diack has insisted that the Olympic Stadium should retain a long-term track and field legacy after the games. Warner wants the IAAF to come through with a major event to be held on the track.


source: Qatar Tribune

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